business and innovationeducation

Farming bees and educating a community.

This week we hear about a rapidly developing business and education centre in Butaleja District…
Mageyo bee farmMageyo is a bee farmer. It’s a job that, like here in the UK, not many people feel compelled to take on. I for one am certain I’ll never pursue a career in keeping bees. However, Mageyo knows all there is to know about bee-keeping and his passion for it is obvious. His bee farm houses 15 hives and is on his own land, just a few meters from the house. Home to thousands of bees, Mageyo’s bee farm is part of an extensive cycle of productivity; from pollination to honey-harvesting. Honey is well sought-after in rural Uganda, as it is rare to find a local bee farmer and is used for health benefits, as well as eating and adding to drinks. Mageyo’s honey is popular in the area and customers travel to his home to buy bottles for around £2.50 each.

So what does this bee farm have to do with a little bit of HOPE? Earlier this year, a little bit of HOPE (Uganda) ran an enterprise competition. Mageyo impressed the team with his already established business model and dreams of expansion and won a grant of 1,000,000 Ugandan shillings (£250) in order to expand the business and educate others in his trade.

Before receiving the grant, Mageyo farmed his bees without any protective clothing as he could not afford to buy any. Now, with the help of the grant money, he has been able to buy protective clothing and equipment such as smokers and funnels, and increase the size of his farm. He is now able to farm the bees more effectively and also teach others his trade. Without any suits, Mageyo could not allow anyone else to enter the bee farm safely and therefore his plan to train others and expand the educational aspect of the project was not possible. But now it is.

When asked about the future, Mageyo’s face lights up. His dream of developing the farm into a learning centre for others is now real. We love the determination Mageyo has for using his business to benefit the wider community and are so excited to see how the project grows. He is always thinking of ways he can improve his business and produce. For instance, he is keen to utilise a system of bottling his honey in sealed bottles to prevent interference from sellers and ensure the highest quality honey is sold. (He currently sells it in re-used plastic drinking bottles). Mageyo’s honey business dreams don’t stop at Butaleja or even Uganda. He wants to go international!

We believe that there are hundreds of individuals like Mageyo; who have great minds for business and skills that can enable them to break the cycle of poverty. So often, all that is needed is a leg-up over these small hurdles that prevent them achieving this.

Would you like to help someone like Mageyo build up their own business? Do you have a desire to see someone break away from the cycle of poverty? You can play a part in this… by praying, donating, getting involved, or simply asking more questions. Get in contact here. Or give here.

Here’s some photos of Mageyo’s new equipment…